Bridges keep road crews busy -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Bridges keep road crews busy

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 Albany and Dougherty County public works spent most of the day trying to keep roads open and prevent crashes, but it was a tougher fight than expected.

Ice build-up led to dozens of car crashes. Bridges, especially on the Liberty Bypass, were the issue. The freezing rain and snow ended early Wednesday morning, but with temperatures remaining below freezing, the ice danger continued through the afternoon.

Sand-spreading truck crews from both Albany and Dougherty County public works stayed busy. Cars hitting ice patches on the Liberty Bypass bridges, especially those over the Flint River, crashed much of the day.

Albany Public Works Richard Bramlett said, "We are keeping an eye on them. We're sanding them as needed. We are doing some re-sanding just to make sure they stay open. People need to drive with caution."

But several times through the morning and early afternoon ice would reform on the bridges after they were sanded, leading to more crashes. As a wreck was being cleared, public works crews would already be re-sanding the bridges. The roads and bridges did not dry as quickly as hoped.

And tonight officials say the dangerous ice could continue to form on area roads and bridges. Dougherty County Public Works Assistant Director Chucky Mathis said, "We're expecting not all of this stuff is going to melt. Because the temperature is not going to get much above freezing, if it does. So we're saying that it is still imminent danger on some of our roadways."

Law enforcement and public works officials say that ice danger remains, tonight and in the morning drive slowly, especially on the bridges.

Bramlett said, "If they have to get out proceed with caution, but stay at home if they can."

This winter storm's ice danger was almost completely confined to the roads. Mathis said, "With the trees or the power lines, we didn't get any calls with that. And we were out looking. Didn't find any issues at all."

Sand trucks remain on standby tonight, as crews keep an eye on the bridges. Unbelievably, emergency management officials reported that Albany Water Gas and Light power crews and the Albany Fire Department did not receive any calls for power outages, limbs down, or fires last night during the height of this winter storm.


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